Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ripley Under Water … Electric Literature … MILK … Rocked Out … Knuckmeter …and the DOC says ...


Ripley Under Water ... another tension filled Highsmith masterpiece, but I have to admit I was sorely disappointed the last thirty pages of this the last of the Ripley adventures. It was somewhat of a Deus Ex Machina ending that came 10 pages from the end and I kept hoping something would change before then, but it didn’t. Ripley is confronted by an American lunatic, David Pritchard, (although that’s never credibly explained) who calls him making believe he’s Dickie Greenleaf (Tom’s first and the only murder victim he regrets) … the mysterious caller has a wife (Janice) he abuses on a regular basis (although that also wasn’t fully developed) and the couple go about screwing with Tom’s head until somehow David has figured out where one of Tom’s “other” victims was dumped. He goes about dredging a canal until he finds it (and then leaves the bones and their wrapping on Tom’s doorstep). How Pritchard knows where Murchison (a victim from Ripley Under Ground) was dumped is another mystery never explained. A good read nonetheless (getting there was every bit as much fun as was the first four novels), but as it turned out, Ripley Under Water was the weakest of the Ripliad series.

Electric Literature (No. 1) ... I found this in the NY Times, a new venue for writers of short stories and decided to support the cause ... $10.00 big ones via amazon ... not a bad investment (but a bit overpriced vs. bulk – just five stories totaling 100 pages). It’s all good writing, don’t get me wrong. Some of it pretty brilliant (Jim Shepard’s terrific tale of two brothers, avalanches and a girl left behind), Your Fate Hurtles Down at You; Diane Wagman’s Three-Legged Dog (a woman who has had a breast removed from cancer and the first man to accept her as is, but ...). Other entries include T Cooper’s The Time Machine; Michael Cunningham’s excerpt from his novel OLYMPIA and Lydia Millet’s, Sir Henry. I’d definitely want to read the remainder of Cunningham’s novel (a tale of brothers).

MILK ... not exactly what I had expected (the movie) but Sean Penn’s performance was masterful. So were a few others. Still, I thought this one might’ve been overhyped. That said, MILK, like American History X, should be required viewing for every high school student in the country (yeah, even those who have issues with homosexuality). For the record, I thought Mickey Rourke should’ve gotten the fugazy award compared to Penn (but both were terrific in their respective roles).

Rocked Out ... did I say the Favre Bean Heads no more Packerless was an easy one over the Buc Stops in Tampa? Ooops ... and Oooops too to my Dog Killers over the Cowgirls. Well, the streak had to end sooner or later. After all, nobody is perfect.

Knuckmeter ... oy-vey, speaking of imperfectness, somebody tripped and fell off the wagon (and crushed the wheels). Momma mia, this got ugly fast.

The Principessa Ann Marie: “You ate all [emphasis added] the cake?”

The Ugly one (moi): “You know you can’t leave me alone all day.”

I thought it was a good answer. It evokes sympathy while offering a compliment (that “I can’t live without you, not even for a few hours” type thing). And don’t forget guilt “you [emphasis added] can’t leave me alone all day.”

And here’s what she had to say in response: “Listen to me, Gordo, Shamu or whatever it is you’re being called this week, when I bake a cake, I expect to eat a piece. Next time try and control yourself.”

I waited a good thirty seconds (pouting like a champ) … I sensed some guilt for the name calling. I thought there was some light at the end of the tunnel, but then she wanted to bake another cake and she opened the refrigerator.

“I suppose you were thirsty after eating all that cake, huh?” she said. “I see you drank all the milk, too.”

Like I always say, amici … it’s not easy being me.


And the DOC says ...

Hey, nice skirting the issues, Chaz.

Our first terrorist attack since 9/11.
- Charles Hussein Stella votes present!

The House starts the ramming of socialized medicine down our throats.
- Charles Hussein Stella votes present!

Unemployment at 17 1/2 %
- Charles Hussein Stella votes present!

Way to go big guy, lets talk about cake.

I can just picture that scene.

"Hey Charlie, shouldn't we save some cake for that she-devil who wanted to burn me?"

"Sparty, that cake is filled with bleached flour, processed sugar and saturated fats. We're doing her a favor by scarfing it down."

"But won't that hurt us too?"

"Spartster, I am an athlete. I'll burn that off at the gym."

"What about me?"

"Well, old pal of mine, don't take this the wrong way, but you're a rat. You could digest plutonium. And while you're up, get me another quart of milk from the fridge."

After our lunch on Tuesday, I have a little hint for the Principessa. Before the food comes... show that you're armed. I would recommend a harpoon. I at least got 3 slices out of 8.

So lets recap. You ate more that half of a pizza, an entire cake and your diet isn't working. Maybe you're just big-boned.

Finally, after a whole season of bad picks, 3 in a row is not a "streak". It's a fluke. I bet against the dog killers and I am working out a deal with the repo man to get my Maserati back.

Have a good week, Slim